Squirrel Takes Out Substation, Leaving 3,200 Without Power

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Several local businesses closed temporarily and thousands of area residents had to sweat out the heat without air conditioning after an AEP substation went out on Logan’s west end Tuesday morning.

A squirrel made its way into the substation “crossing wires that should not have been crossed,” said Jeff Rennie, AEP spokesperson.

AEP reported the outage affected more than 3,200 customers. According to Rennie there were two power grids affected. Power to the first grid was restored at approximately 11 a.m. and the second grid was restored before noon.

Many Logan businesses were forced to close for several hours due to the power outage including Walmart and both Speedways. Kroger closed for a short period but was able to reopen to sell non-perishable items. Readers posted via the Logan Daily News Facebook page that some banks were closed during the outage.

The power outage area affected went from Market Street west, including parts of state Route 664 and areas south on state Route 93. Residents as far away as Rockbridge also reported outages. Melanie Shaulis reported having power on Chieftain Drive around Enterprise.

AEP recommends having an outage emergency kit that includes flashlights and fresh batteries, battery-powered radios or televisions, candles, matches, or lighters, water for drinking and cooking, camping equipment (sleeping bags, camp stoves, lanterns) , canned goods and a manual can opener and the manufacturers’ instructions for power-operated equipment such as the garage door or generator.

Outage safety tips recommend unplugging major appliances to protect them from a power surge when power comes back on, leave a light turned on so you know when power is restored, refuel heaters, lamps, and generators outside, and stay away from any flames or sparks. Wipe up fuel spills immediately. Never operate lanterns, heaters, or fuel-fired stoves without proper ventilation and never burn charcoal indoors because it releases poisonous carbon monoxide. Avoid downed power lines or sparking equipment. Never remove debris that’s within 10 feet of a power line. Prevent children from carrying candles or oil lamps.

Contact AEP if you’re using a generator – this protects you and our line workers as they work to restore power. Be safe with backup generators.